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Pharmacists Needed to Guide Use of Nonprescription Statins

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should explore alternative models for dispensing HMG co-reductase inhibitors, or statins, instead of reclassifying the medications to over-the-counter status, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

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The Society offered its perspectives today during a meeting of two FDA advisory committees considering over-the-counter (OTC) use of lovastatin, which is currently available only as a prescription under the brand name Mevacor.

"After statin therapy starts, ongoing evaluations are needed to assess the patient's response and to monitor for adverse drug events, said Cynthia Reilly, ASHP director of clinical standards and quality. "The existing model for OTC medications would place the entire burden for performing these functions on the patient and would likely result in increased adverse drug events. However,